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Research Article Open Access
Background: Needle-Stick Injuries (NSIs) incur huge financial, emotional, social and economic costs, and therefore constitute a serious global burden of disease. Protocols to manage NSIs at the primary care level are in place to ensure both staff and the public are well protected.
Aim: This study aims to assess the utilization of NSI Protocols by General Practices in Liverpool, with respect to the North-West of England regional guidelines.
Design and Setting: This is a cross-sectional survey, focusing on 77 general practices in Liverpool, North-west of England.
Methods: Self-administered, pre-piloted questionnaires were distributed by post, email, and personal delivery to Practice Managers in the GP Surgeries. Completed forms were analyzed.
Results: The study achieved an 82% response rate (63 responses out of 77). Eight (12.9%) of the Surgeries
witnessed NSI cases in the preceding 12 months. Five (62.5%) of these Surgeries reported cases among the public, while the rest were among Practice staff. About 90% of the practices were aware of the regional NSI Policy, though 87.3% actually possess it. Less than 14% had difficulties adopting or implementing recommended guidelines, mostly from not knowing who to contact if help is needed. There was no association between Practice Size and the Possession of Policy (χ2 = 0.002; P = 0.99).
Conclusion: The awareness, adoption and implementation of the recommended NSI policy among Surgeries in Liverpool are quite high. However, efforts should be made to maximize possession and limit difficulties in the implementation of the policies.
General practices, Surgeries, Needle-stick injuries, Sharps, General public, Community, Community Medicine